Scottish Labour Market Trends [September 2017]

Fraser of Allander Institute, Scottish Centre for Employment Research; (2017) Scottish Labour Market Trends [September 2017]. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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The report examines the performance of the Scottish labour market so far this year and assesses the outlook for employment, unemployment and earnings in advance of next week’s updated statistics. The report shows that Scotland’s labour market continues to hold up remarkably well, despite challenges elsewhere in the economy. The employment rate in Scotland now stands at 75.2% up 1.1 percentage points on a year ago. Meanwhile the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.9% down 1.2 percentage points since last year. In another welcome development, two recent concerns in the labour market data, youth unemployment and economic inactivity, appear to have receded somewhat. The youth (16-24 year old) unemployment rate is at a record low rate of 8.4%. This is also the lowest rate of any part of the UK. The rate of economic inactivity increased to 23% at the end of 2016, but at 21.8% has now fallen back closer to the UK average of 21.3%. Challenges remain with a need to better understand the extent of part-time employment, fragile employment and underemployment in the labour market. Similarly, recent rises in self-employment need to be better understood. We also identify a decline in job related training, a subject to which we will return in a future editions of this publication. In addition to reviewing the data on Scotland’s labour market this edition also includes an article written by Mhairi Love, a research intern undertaking a Carnegie Foundation Vacation Scholarship at the Fraser of Allander Institute over the summer. She provides her research and analysis on the gender differences in the Scottish labour market.